Does Life ever bring those frustrating moments? Sometimes I feel like I go from one frustrating moment to another. Then, other things that are usually easy, become difficult and Wham!…Life just feels overwhelming and not much fun. What happens when we feel frustrated (along with her cousin anxiety) is the two parts of our autonomic nervous system become out of sync. When the sympathetic division (responsible for our fight or flight zone in the brain in which is called upon for the sake of safety) and the parasympathetic division (responsible for maintaining functions of the respiratory tract, ingestion and digestion and the disposal of wastes) are out of sync, is the signals in the nervous system are chaotic. It’s like driving a car with one foot of the gas pedal and one on the brake. This makes for a jerky ride; burns more gas and wears out the car sooner. So it is with our bodies and emotions, we tend to get frustrated more easily and often go into anxiety or anger. While it would be wonderful if we never had times of stress or frustration in our lives, we are going to encounter things that we do not like or that are out of our control. Remember, it is not really the circumstances, but your perspective toward the circumstance and how that has put your nervous system out of sync. So, what do we do about it??? The people at HeartMath Research Center have been studying this for over 20 years. I was delighted to learn some amazing techniques to deal with just his problem.
- Become aware of how you feel about the situation at hand. Admit to what you are feeling. “I am frustrated and a little angry for spending 6 hours at the ER with my MIL and answering the same questions every 10 minutes.” While I might wish I were a better person and not angry about this, acknowledging what I feel and naming it helps be to own it rather than just brush it off.
- Slow down your breathing. Breathe in for 5-6 seconds and out for 5-6 seconds.
- Focus my breathing on my heart and breath in and out of my heart. (Yes, you are really breathing in your lungs first , but it has proven you can focus this breathing energy toward your heart.)
- While still breathing ask yourself, “How would I like to feel?” Compassion, love. joy, fun!
- The more you focus on this new feeling, the more your nervous system becomes in sync and the more you can experience this desired feeling.
- Express gratitude for this new feeling and for this moment in time.
Sounds too good to be true? There is scientific evidence behind this! It is a little challenging at first to get the habit, but gets easier the more you practice it. So, give it a try and let me know how it works and lets leave frustration behind and life of gratitude. Another step in designing the life you have always wanted! Sonja